The War on Plastic

About the ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags

This is from the Queensland Government website and its important to share this. However I believe its our own behaviour that counts. Us sixty year olds are good at taking our own shopping bags, we do it now, so lets step up and support this implementation of NO plastic bags in Queensland.


I made a pack with myself to remove plastic from my life and I am finding it extremely difficult. It’s everywhere and makes life so convenient and easy. However the focus must be on manufacturers being smart to create plastic products using alternative decomposable material. And this is being done, slowly.

The following account is only the tip of the iceberg and I firmly believe we need to take responsibility. I laugh but admire those who leave the grocery shops with a pile of goods balancing their our arms as they have, yet again, left their recycable bag in the car. We need to reject the plastic bags given to us in clothes stores, flower shops and encourage fruit and veggie shops to dump the plastic wrap.

The impacts of plastic pollution on our environment and especially on our marine life are a very real concern to the Queensland Government and the community.

Plastic bags in particular are of significant concern. When plastic bags get into waterways and marine environment animals such as sea turtles and sea birds can ingest, or become entangled in them. Littered plastic bags are unsightly, can clog up infrastructure, and are difficult and costly to clean up.

The Queensland Government has taken action to protect our unique environment through the introduction of a ban on the supply of single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, and a beverage container refund scheme. Both of these schemes started on 1 July 2018.


The problem with plastic bags

It is estimated that close to one billion single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags are used in Queensland each year. While the majority of these bags end up in landfill, around 16 million lightweight plastic shopping bags enter the environment in Queensland each year. Plastic bags are one of the most conspicuous items in the litter stream and pose real threats to land and marine environments. They often end up in waterways where they endanger marine life through entanglement or ingestion.

In February 2017, a consultation paper (PDF, 1.9MB) seeking feedback from the public on a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags attracted more than 26,000 submissions from individuals, community groups, local governments and retailers. From the responses which were received (PDF, 332.25KB), an overwhelming 96% supported the introduction of a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags by 1 July 2018.

Who does the plastic shopping bag ban apply to?

The plastic bag ban will apply to all retailers in Queensland. Penalties will apply to any retailer who does not comply with the legislation.

The National Retail Association is actively involved in engaging with the retail sector and has developed a dedicated website containing information for retailers about the ban and their obligations, as well as running a series of retailer information workshops across the state before the end of 2017.

Which bags are banned?

Plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness (a single-use or lightweight plastic shopping bag) will no longer be able to be supplied to the customer – either sold or given away. This includes compostable, degradable and biodegradable plastic shopping bags, as these can still harm wildlife if littered.

To stay up to date and learn more about ways to reduce plastic in the environment subscribe to the WASTENOTes bulletin.

If you have a comment or some information to add, please email me here.